Beyond Drought:

People, Policy and Perspectives

The unpredictability of Australia’s climate poses real challenges for practices that were developed based on the relative predictability of a European climate. More recently, policy has been moving towards accepting drought as a reality, rejecting the notion that it is a natural disaster in favour of an approach based on risk management.

However, the level of public debate during a drought event suggests that this policy approach has not been widely understood or accepted. Media reporting of drought rapidly adopts disaster-related language and the organisation of relief appeals reinforces the impression that drought is an aberration rather than a normal part of Australia’s climate patterns.

Beyond Drought provides a multi-disciplinary discussion aimed at increasing the level of understanding of drought’s many facets and its impact on the environment, communities and the economy. It introduces a range of perspectives in order to emphasise the complexity of drought policy. The book cuts through the often emotional debate that occurs during a drought event, aiming to stimulate reasoned discussion about the best way that Australian farmers and the broader community can live with the vagaries of an uncertain climate.